Configuration management solutions monitor and enforce desired configurations, and automatically resolve changes or configuration drift.
It is responsible for maintaining the consistency of software. Therefore, implementing configuration management automation is a very wise move for an organization.
How It Works
Configuration management has several components. These include storage, software, networking, and servers. These components are the targets of configuration management system. Its goal is focused on the maintenance of these systems, especially its known and determined states.
Configuration management system is also responsible for describing the desired state for the systems. Finally, configuration management system is automation software. It ensures that the target systems and software are maintained in its desired state.
Benefits Of Configuration Management
Primarily, the most important benefit of configuration management is in the consistency of software and its systems. The guessing game of whether configuration is current or otherwise is over with configuration management. Therefore, you are assured that it is correct.
Automating configuration management can no doubt improve efficiency. In short, manual configuration processes are replaced with automated processes. Automation enables configuration management to manage more targets with similar, or lesser resources.
More Benefits Of Configuration Management
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, configuration management has more benefits:
- Disaster recovery: When something goes wrong with one of our environments, for example a hardware failure or a security breach, we need to be able to reproduce that environment in a deterministic amount of time in order to be able to restore service.
- Auditability: In order to demonstrate the integrity of the delivery process, we need to be able to show the path backwards from every deployment to the elements it came from, including their version. Comprehensive configuration management, combined with deployment pipelines, enable this.
- Higher quality: Software delivery is usually subject to long delays waiting for development, testing and production environments to be prepared. When this can be done automatically from version control, we can get feedback on the impact of our changes much more rapidly, enabling us to build quality in to our software.
- Capacity management: When we want to add more capacity to our environments, the ability to create new reproductions of existing servers is essential. This capability enables the horizontal scaling of modern cloud-based distributed systems.
- Response to defects: Many organizations have an emergency process for sudden system changes which goes faster by bypassing some of the testing and auditing. This presents an especially serious dilemma in safety-critical systems. Our goal should be to be able to use our normal release process for emergency fixes—which is precisely what continuous delivery enables, on the basis of comprehensive configuration management.
Configuration Management Tools
Configuration management tools include automation. Popular tools for configuration management automation are:
- Red Hat Ansible – this is an open-source software provisioning, configuration management, and application deployment tool. It runs on many Unix-like systems, and can therefore configure both Unix-like systems as well as Microsoft Windows. It also includes its own declarative language to describe system configuration.
- Chef – this is an automation tool that provides a way to define infrastructure as code. Infrastructure as code (IAC) simply means that managing infrastructure by writing code (Automating infrastructure) rather than using manual processes. Hence, it can also be termed as programmable infrastructure. This tool uses a pure-Ruby, domain-specific language (DSL) for writing system configurations.
- Puppet – Puppet is an open-core software configuration management tool. It runs on many Unix-like systems as well as on Microsoft Windows, and includes its own declarative language to describe system configuration.
To Sum Up
Automation is the latest and most efficient innovation of technology. Especially in the field of software development and testing. It plays a very important role in this field because it can accomplish tasks quickly. Not only that, it can assure us of reliable and accurate results.
Integration automation with configuration management is another big step in software testing and development. It does not only maintain the consistency of systems and software, but also provide us with software of the best quality.